Sea Food And Photograph It

Few foods are as popular or as photogenic as sea food. With a huge variety of shapes, sizes and colours, the contents of the aquatic larder offer a wonderful array of photographic opportunities.

Consider for a moment the variety on display: From small, simple things like cockles and mussels to lobsters and crabs with all their shells, legs and appendages, from tiny fish like whitebait through to huge, orangey-pink salmon. All this is before one even starts on the octopi and squid with their sucker-covered tentacles.

Visually, a wide combination of contrasts is possible, both in terms of the actual shapes, sizes and textures of the tasty morsels on offer and the wide range of colours. Indeed, if some edible seaweed is added the spectrum can be even wider.

It is not hard to imagine arranging a large array of different seafood; after all, a trip to the fishmonger will provide a good idea. But in that instance, the various items are likely to be simply laid out on a bed of crushed ice, rather than forming a great backdrop.

This, however, is where you can get creative, either with your backdrop board or a few extra props.

For example, you may have certain themes connected with your seafood. For instance, if it is Scottish seafood like Arbroath smokies, salmon, langoustines and even Cullen skink, you might want a backdrop of tartan or photographs of Scottish coastal and mountain scenery.

You might even add in a few other props like whisky or an Aberdeen Angus steak, if the theme is a broader one about Scottish food and drink.

The same can be true for other places. Cockles and mussels can be associated with Ireland, not least because it’s the chorus of the song about a Dublin girl called Mollie May. So all the green shades, shamrocks and so on can be added in.

Or, for example, you could consider seafood from Cornwall, where a few associated aquatic themes would include some pirate-related props or even an image of the Land’s End sign.

The use of props and backdrops does come with a huge array of possibilities; photo backdrops might include harbours with colourful cottages like those found on Hebridean islands, fishing boats or props like lobster baskets, netting or anchors, the kind of thing that might be seen in themed seafood restaurants.

A simpler, monotone background would be appropriate in other instances, however, such as when only one kind of seafood is on show, rather than a display of the cornucopia that the sea provides in a particular area. In this case, less is more, with no distraction from the start of the show, except perhaps for some seasonings like lemon or a sauce.

Because sea food is so broad a culinary area and the visual variety of it is so great, there is no one single way of presenting it. That means any photographic display should be considered carefully and arranged in the context of the story you want to tell, whether of a specific item, of where it comes from, or how it can be prepared as a particular dish.

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